Fortaleza Airport looks set for a very busy high season between December and February. Several airlines have announced increases to flights over the summer period, particularly those from cities in southern Brazil and Argentina. Meanwhile, expansion work at the airport is well underway.
Three airlines announce more flights
Three Brazilian airlines have announced more flights for the upcoming high season . These will mainly affect routes between Fortaleza Airport and other destinations in Brazil and South America. LATAM Airlines Brasil is adding almost 1,400 extra flights throughout the country to cope with bigger demand. Fortaleza is one of the company’s most popular destinations and will receive the lion’s share of the flights.
Gol, the airline that is part of the flight hub at Fortaleza Airport along with Air France and KLM, is also putting on more flights between the capital of Ceará and other Brazilian cities. The company will run a direct flight linking Fortaleza and Jericoacoara where the airport opened earlier this year. More seats will be available on services between Fortaleza and Argentinian destinations of Rosario and Cordoba, and Miami.
For their part, Azul Linhas Aéreas will be increasing its flight services from three to five times a week on several key routes. These include Fortaleza-Jericoacoara and Fortaleza-Belo Horizonte.
Airport expansion on track
Fortaleza Airport has seen huge growth in passenger traffic so far this year and to cope with the increase, refurbishments are underway. Work is currently over a quarter complete with some of the upgrades to open to passengers next month. They include a new security area.
Work is well advanced on the new check-in desks for domestic flights, due to open in spring 2019. Other expansion work such as extending the terminal and runways as well as improving road access to the airport will be complete by May 2020. The German company Fraport who took over management of Fortaleza Airport are investing R$1 billion in upgrades to allow for the increase in air traffic and passengers.
Excellent year for Fortaleza Airport
Fortaleza Airport has gone from strength to strength this year. International flights have increased six-fold – in January Fortaleza offered 8 international flights a week. The figure has since increased to 48 and Ceará is now served by flights from a range of destinations in Europe, South America and the US. The number is expected to increase to 60 next year.
The arrival of the Air France-KLM-Gol hub in May has already brought thousands more tourists to Ceará upcoming high season . Figures released in mid-October for August showed a 20.8% increase in tourism in the state, almost three times the national rise (7.8%).
Ceará tourism authorities expect upgrades and increased flights from Fortaleza Airport to bring 150,000 more international visitors to the state by 2020. The figure for Brazilian tourists is considerably higher – conservative estimates point to an additional 1.5 million Brazilians visiting Ceará by 2020.
(Sources: O Povo, Globo)